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Protesters Rights to Food and Water
by Alex Holzinger
aged 15
Minneapolis. USA
Recently in my state (Minnesota) there have been protests to stop the construction of a highway that is destroying park land, but that actually is besides the point. As part of these protests people tied, locked, or hung on to a tree that was right in the path of the highway. Now our police, being the nice people they are, surrounded the tree and did not permit anyone to enter the perimeter they had formed. They then proceeded to try and cut down the tree while there were some 10 or so protesters in it. After cutting down about half of the main limbs of this tree and getting out all but 4 of the protesters out of the tree the police declared that it was fine with them if the peace full protesters (the only resistance the protesters showed who were in the tree was to refuse to come down), they just would not let them get any food or water. I am not making this up, MN/DOT, the part of government doing all this work proudly annouced this too all the local media and such.
So they then had about three police officers on the site round the clock and ANYONE who tried to get food or water to the protesters was arrested. And of course at night about every 15 minutes the police would blair a radio for about 5 minutes to keep the protesters from sleeping. Now I am so morally against this, but that also is besides the point. See for school I have to do a research paper and my topic is whether it was in violation of the UDHR to withhold food and water from these peaceful protesters. So I looked on the internet for some experts or leaders in this field and I came up with you. So my question is was it in violation / illegal according to UDHR, something the US has signed I have found out, to withhold food and water from these people?
Anything you can tell me even relating to the subject would be great, and if you had the time if you could tell me on exactly what grounds it is illegal (if it is) and if there would be any couter-arguments the state could make as too why it is fine to withhold food and water from these people.
Alex Holzinger
(Grade 9 South High School in Minneapolis)

Submitted at 8:55pm 25th Oct, 1999
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